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Destination MCC

IT'S TIME to get lost in the woods again. And while you're there, look for shy, bright-eyed bushy-tailed squirrels, inquisitive deer and absent-minded rockers in carefully faded denim and five-day old stubble. For, the Madras Christian College's boisterous, swinging and `very happening' cultural festival, Deep Woods, is back and determined to make a rollicking, musical splash this year. Pavan Zachariah, MCC's Literary and Debating Convenor, says that Deep Woods has been giving all of them sleepless nights. "It's been 25 years since our college got its autonomous status, so we're planning a really big festival to mark the anniversary," Pavan says, explaining why every hall in MCC is feverishly abuzz with nervous anticipation.

Deep Woods, which, according to Pavan was called "Touch Woods way, way, way back in the 1990s" has become more than just another cultural festival over the decades. It's now part of a tradition for both the MCC boys and students from the city's colleges, who take the long and winding road to Tambaram year after year to participate. And while MCC's sticking with their fascinatingly obscure `the beginning is the end is the beginning' tag line, they've also come up with a theme for this year - `Stray Estranged'. Apparently, `Stray Estranged' is all about an individual's search for an identity. A sort of `lone wolf looks at the world' and `eagle flies high'-type theme. All that wandering in the woods is evidently paying off.

Between making arrangements for their out-of-town guests (the fest is expected to bring in participants from across the State) and setting up the reception area ("we're doing it typical MCC style - overnight!"), the cultural convener and his team are also frantically tallying costs. This year's festival has cost the college a whopping 7.6 lakh rupees, out of which one lakh is being given away as prize money.

Pentagram also returns to MCC this year to bring the curtains down on Deep Woods in style - with wailing guitars, thunderous drums and enthusiastic head banging. The group, which has brought out two albums `We Are Not Listening' and UP, was so popular the last time they played that the college senate actually had to plead with the audience to put down a boy they were throwing up and down in delight. (True Story!)

By Shonali Muthalaly

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